The awkward expression that gave trouble to a foreigner who wants to learn Romanian. “Is there another meaning?”

The Romanian language was ranked as an easy language for English speakers to learn. However, some expressions give a lot of trouble to those who want to learn to speak Romanian.

The grammatical difficulties of the Romanian language Photo: Arhivă Adevărul

The grammar of the Romanian language can not only confuse those who want to learn the language, but often it can also create problems for native speakers. Hristoval, a Bulgarian citizen, asked on the Facebook group “Learn to Speak Romanian” if the expression “I'm sending it to you” has another meaning besides “I'm sending it to you immediately”.

“'I also send him to you' – this phrase is given as an example of the ethical dative, but to me it makes sense only in the literal reading, with the usual use of the dative expressing the indirect object. Can it have another meaning, for example, other than “I'll send it to you immediately”?”asks Hristoval.

This is the only meaning“, someone answered him, promptly.

There were Romanians who advised him not to give much importance to the ethical dative. “It is quite outdated and you are unlikely to come across it in everyday conversations. It is mostly used in books, where the narrator (or, more generally, the speaker) tries to insert himself into the conversation“, answered a Romanian.

However, this was immediately contradicted by another person: “The dative is frequently used”. Only after she realizes the mistake made, she curiously asks: “But what is the epic dative?”

We learn about the dative case during school that it is a case of the declension that usually expresses the destination of a verb and answers the question “to whom?”. There are, however, two special forms of this case: the possessive dative and the ethical dative, which are expressed by the unstressed forms of the personal pronoun.

The difference was explained a few years ago by Professor Cristea on his Facebook page “Prof. Cristea”: “The possessive dative determines a noun, linking with a hyphen to it (your white hand), to an adjective (your white hand) or to a verb (I listened to your advice), having the function of a pronominal attribute, when linked by hyphenating a preposition (He stands before you), has the function of a circumstantial complement. The ethical dative does not have a syntactic, but a stylistic function, showing the narrator's affective participation in what is narrated (And when I hit you once…)“.

According to specialists from the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) in the United States, the Romanian language is included in “category I” – of languages ​​closely related to English, along with the Germanic languages ​​- Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, as well as the Romance languages – French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian.

According to FSI, these languages ​​are the easiest for English speakers, who should be able to learn and speak them fluently in about 24 weeks, the equivalent of 575-600 hours, following intensive courses.